Blue Jeans and Gillette

I went on a mission to buy bell-bottoms yesterday. It has been about five years since I last owned a pair of jeans and for some reason I decided that it was high time I got another pair. It was a hell of a lot more time-consuming, frustrating and energy-draining than I thought it would be.

The first problem was the fact that over half the jeans in Prague’s shops are stained or abused or faded or ripped in some way or another. Sorry to sound like an old geezer, but some bring the horrible acid-wash style to mind. Others look like they’ve come “fresh” off a farmer who’s been dealing with a misbehaving septic tank in near-Sahara heat. And some of those fade patterns simply make the wearer look like they’ve pissed themselves.

Nevertheless, I did manage to find a few pairs that were alright – either unaltered or with that slightly used look. However, I’m not sure I want to pay CZK 2,000+ for a pair of plain and simple jeans. So, after spending the day traipsing all over the city in search of the denims of my dreams, I returned home empty-handed, but far from disappointed.

It was nice to see how friendly and eager-to-please the salespeople in Prague have become. From the pleasant soft-spoken Roma woman in the Kotva Department Store, through the shy, but helpful near-skeletal young ladies at the Levis’ stores, to the petite permagrinning cyberpunk tankgirl at the C&A in the Blackbridge Mall, most of them approached me, offered to find my size, made suggestions, and (gasp!) spoke English with (double gasp!) smiles on their faces.

The most harrowing fifteen or so minutes of my shopping experience took place at the New Yorker on Mustek. Three floors of total chaos set to music for speed freak aerobic instructors. It felt like being in a crowded Czech disco decorated with ugly clothes. It is the perfect setting for the amateur anthropologist to observe several varieties of budget-conscious Eurotrash in their natural environment. The New Yorker in the Novy Smichov mall is no better.

Mach 3 Power promotion

I should also mention this really cool promotion that Gillette has going right now for its new Mach 3 Power razor. While I’m very happy with my normal Mach 3 (the first to actually make shaving enjoyable for me), I’ve been intrigued by this new Beckham-backed, triple-A battery-powered tri-blade shaver. But the CZK 500 price tag for the razor (+ 1 battery and 2 blades) and the CZK 379 tag for the 4 refills has made me hesitant to actually purchase one.

Anyway, Gillette has set up a large rig in the front parking lot of the Blackbridge mall. Inside there are eight to ten sinks, each with a mirror, shaving foam and choices of after shave lotions and balms. And, of course, the new M3P, fitted with a fresh blade, sits gleaming by the sink. And, of course, hot babes in skin-tight outfits flutter about luring guys in to take the razor for a free test run.

Alas, I had already shaven, but hopefully Gillette will keep the rig and the babes in my ‘hood for a few more days. One thing worries me, though. I held the M3P and turned it on and was a bit surprised at the intensity of the vibrations. What happens when the battery dies mid-shave? Does it slow down or come to a sudden stop, and what would the effect be in either situation? And how did they test these things? (I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that last question, as I’ll end up buying it anyway).

Jun 28, 08:02 (Filed under: , Personal )

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